Last October, Michigan State hockey player AJ Sturges was brutally assaulted by a couple of MSU players. The incident left Sturges in the hospital and ended his hockey season, while one of his assailants, MSU football player Glenn Winston was sentenced to 180 days in jail, but was released from his sentence early, and coincidentally, just in time for Michigan State's first football practice of the season.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis and head football coach Mark Dantonio chose to immediately reinstate Winston to the football team. Understandably, this move upset AJ Sturges, who released a pretty strongly worded statement to Michigan State's football beat writers. A couple excerpts from Sturges' statement:
In my opinion, the immediate reinstatement of Glenn Winston to the
football team reflects very poorly on Michigan State athletics.
This decision has established weak precedent for future athletes involved
in violent crimes.
I now look at myself as naive. I believed that the people involved in the assault, and those at MSU charged with handling policy, would do the right thing. They haven't.
Me and the other victims have not received any form of apology from Glenn Winston. Nothing. He has not acknowledged to us in any way the damage he caused. While this fact remains ignored, I cannot allow myself to believe that his debts have been paid, or even understood. "While the victims of his actions still recover from what he did, Winston's obligations have been deemed fulfilled by the football program and athletic department. I think his immediate reinstatement after a shortened jail sentence in my opinion is the wrong decision by our athletic program.
Sturges ended his comments by thanking MSU for all the help he received in his recovery, but it's not often you see a player rip into his own school like that while he's still a member of the university and one of their sports teams.
Even though Winston has shown no remorse for his actions, Mark Dantonio at least tried to apologize for what happened:
"At MSU football media day Tuesday, Dantonio reiterated that the incident never should have occurred, apologized to Sturges, his family and the other people hurt during the incident, but said he must support Winston."
That statement ran on a little too long. When you're trying to say "Sorry that somebody I brought to this campus nearly killed you," that's all you say. You don't add a 'but' to that sentence, because the 'but' makes you look like a complete and total a-hole. I understand wanting to support his player, but there's consequences to that support, and one of them is that Dantonia comes off as looking like a tool.
Of course, this is also a sticky issue for the MSU hockey team, since they'll be welcoming back Corey Tropp to the MSU hockey team this year after his assualt on Steve Kampfer. Though Tropp's situation is slightly different, seeing as he served no jail time, and it occurred in the heat of the moment, as opposed to the pre-meditation in Winston's attack.